new set up, brown algae

Discussion in 'Algae' started by baron von bubba, 25 Mar 2009.

  1. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    hi, have just noticed a brown furry type algae in one area of my tank.
    its only on a few leaves at the moment!
    the tank has only been running for 10 days now, i guess this algae is pretty normal for a new set up?

    is there anything i should do to minimise this?
    i have a few ottos in there altho they seem to stay the other side of the tank.
    lights 2x54w t5 (8hrs) 240l tank
    pressurised co2
    50% water changes twice a week
     
  2. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Neath, South Wales
    No algae should be normal in any setup, regardless of age, if you have everything correct.
    It is most likely indicactive of a deficiency of something, either CO2 (even if you have pressurised CO2 at 30ppm it may not be efficiently distributed to all of the tank) or a nutrient deficiency.
    Im sure someone else more knowledegable than I will be able to point out what the particular deficieny is in this case.
    A photo of the furry brown algae may also help with diagnosing and curing the problem
    Hope this helps.
    Joe
     
  3. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    best i can do with my phone cam! :0/
    25032009382.jpg
    25032009383.jpg
     
  4. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    It is diatoms and they are usual in a new tank, after a few months they clear on there own but to help you can do 2 x 50% water like you are doing, clean up crew which you have.
    The only other suggestion i would make is to cut the photoperiod down to 6hrs for a few more weeks.
     
  5. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    Ok, i shall lower the light period.
    Will this algae damage the plants?
    Should i be tryin to clean off the algae? If so, whats the best method?
    Thanks.
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    Further to the above, you can keep the same photoperiod if you cut the intensity. Kill 50% of the bulbs if possible and add more CO2. Remove all affected leaves and wipe/vacuum inorganic surfaces just prior to the water change. New tanks have an insufficient development of bacterial population and cannot deal with ammonia production. As the tank matures this will typically disappear. Are you dosing properly?

    Cheers,
     
  7. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    Hi,
    prob easier to cut the period down, those tubes are a nightmare to get in and out! :0/ and i poss need 2 for the luminare to work at all!?
    do light "colours" make a difference? i could use 2 plant grow tubes instead of 1 plant grow and a 10k white? (if i can em out! :0/)

    i'm been tweaking the co2 up, have a ph controller, so gradually lowering the ph on that over the last few days, i was using the CO2/Kh/ph table to begin with, so its prosibly been a little off! :0/
    my drop checker seems to give the "correct" colour now tho, for what thats worth!
    i could maybe up it a bit more, i'd feel better about this if i had and air stone to run at night tho!

    kinda been dosing! :0/ first week couldnt bring myself to add too much phos/nites!
    that old programming has finally been over-written now tho! ;0)

    flow is another possible issue maybe, only 3x turn over currently! gonna add another filter to double it very soon!
    or buy a power head very soon if needed?

    is bleaching the plants in a very week solution an option if a lot of leaves are covered? as it seems maybe to be covering more plants and if i remove all the leaves that have some on it may look a little sparse! :0(

    a few more new stems added maybe? would that help out a bit?

    thanks
     
  8. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Member

    Messages:
    224
    Location:
    Dalkeith, Scotland
    the bleaching technique is really for when it gets real bad as the plants will take a hammering,

    get the co2 and ferts up
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Color is irrelevant. Light intensity is generally more important than photoperiod, however if the luminary does not function with a bulb disabled then there is little choice but to reduce the photoperiod.

    The CO2/KH/pH relationship is invalidated in tank water because the ph is corrupted by organic acids in the water column. The table only works when the only acid present in the water is Carbonic acid generated by the CO2.


    All you have to do is to turn the gas off earlier. If you shut it off 3-4 hours before the end of the photoperiod you can drive the levels higher and the extra time will help dissipate the CO2.

    Good! The sooner the better. 8)

    Definitely. High flow mitigates most problems, erases many mistakes and makes better use of nutrients and CO2 so you can actually use less of everything.

    Bleaching further weakens the leaf making it more susceptible to algal attacks. You need to think about algae as a symptom of a disease, not as an alien invader. If you make the patient weaker will he get well sooner? If there is widespread damage then it would be better to remove the worst affected leaves and wipe off the rest with a soft cloth while the water is low. Also, uprooting the plants just to dip them in a toxic solution is not a nice thing to do either. When you replant them it there is another adjustment period, further putting them at a disadvantage. The whole bleaching scenario is a raw deal in my opinion. If conditions are good, i.e good nutrition, good flow and good CO2, then the plant will grow new leaves in no time flat.

    Yeah, more stems is always a good idea but, fix the fundamental problems of light, flow, nutrients and CO2, otherwise the new stems will suffer just as much.

    Cheers,
     
  10. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    thanx for the advice guys, its much appriceated!
    Glad the bleachin is a no no, i really didnt like the idea of that! Must stay away from certain other forums! ;)

    Tried one tube! Not work, so down to 6 hours, may see if thier is an easy way to lift my lights up higher also!

    Koralia Power head fitted today, another 1200litres per hour flow!

    Ordered potasium to add more to my fertz as that's my main suspect! :) if it is nutrient related.

    Also, i just remembered, a couple of days ago i noticed 2 stems that had pretty much rotted, they just disintergrated when i tried to remove them!
    That was possibly another factor in this "outbreak"!


    Also put the danios back in they're old tank! Well 5 of em, the 6th one evaded capture......for now!

    Will chuck some more stems in when/if i manage to get it stableised

    Feelin a bit more confident again now tho!
    Thanx. :D

    Ah, one other thing, i'm usin a ph controller, i've been tryin to get the bpm set so the ph stays stable, rather than the controller keep switchin off/on within the +/- 0.1ph range on the controller.
    This is the right way to use this yeah?
    Just as a back up safety net rather that to actually regulate the co2!
    Just need to work out how many hours before the lights come on to switch it back on?
    Does this make sense?
    And is my train of throught still on track?
     
  11. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Rotting is a sure sign of poor CO2. Many find the pH controller sexy but there is a fundamental problem with the control mechanism: As noted previously, the pH/KH/CO2 relationship is broken in every single tank operating on the surface of the planet as a direct result of organic acid production within the tank. Therefore, pH, which the controller uses as it's primary regulating parameter, does not really reflect the true CO2 level in the tank. So the controller constantly makes the same error that you previously made when you simply measured the tank pH and assumed that you could check the pH/KH/CO2 tables to calculate CO2 concentration.

    Stabilizing pH is therefore a flawed method of controlling CO2 concentration levels - unless the target pH is set so low that there is a constant stream of bubbles. Now, if that's the case, then you don't really need a controller because that's what a solenoid/timer combination does, it turns the gas on and the bubble rate is constant until the solenoid shuts off the gas at the allotted time. Stability of CO2 concentration is the goal, not stable pH, so an ON/OFF modulation is not the best scenario. this is not to say that it can't be done, far from it, but one has to understand the limitations of the machine in order to use it effectively.

    On a big tank, or with a weak diffuser, one sometimes needs to turn the gas on, sometimes 2 hours or so before the lights go on just to fight the inertia of saturating all that water with CO2. It is suggested, at least until you get your head wrapped around the controller, that you disconnect the controlling feature and just use it to monitor pH, which will rise and fall throughout the 24 hour period - which doesn't matter at all, either to plants or fish. 8)

    Cheers,
     
  12. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    they were not great when i got them tbh, mail order and the pagage not treated well by the look of it, i shouldve kept a close eye on them! :?

    yeah i kinda realised this a while ago. then i started wandering what the point of the ph controller was anyhow!

    the ph controller would be a usefull visual tool to make sure yer co2 input (bpm) was correct and "balanced" in the fact the ph wouldnt change throughout the day?
    or is that assumption incorrect?
    as you say, other things influence the ph, but would anything other than co2, influence it through one photo period?
    obviously nitrate useage would effect ph but by how much? is it insignificant?

    yeah, mine seems to take a loooooong time to get the co2 levels up in the morning! it was at least 4 hours today (again, just using the ph meter at a visual) when i've turned the co2 off at night. i guess the powerhead and the now increased flow may improve that some what?
    i'm probably also gonna invest in an inline co2 difusser, as the only other option to improve it is to get another ladder difusser on the other side of the tank with a co2 splitter etc and i cant see this being better than an inline reactor?

    thanks 8)
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Well, let me demonstrate the importance of CO2. Here is a similar situation where a mail order plant was not treated well and was in very poor shape when received. The specimens in question are the stems in the background.
    [​IMG]

    This is what they became. This transformation could not have been possible without careful attention to CO2 concentration levels. An inability to recover from poor condition is an indicator that CO2 is too low. The importance of CO2 cannot be overstated.
    [​IMG]


    Well, again the importance of pH has become completely overemphasized. From the moment the gas goes on the pH will begin to fluctuate due to those combination of factors. Remember that the plants are removing CO2 from the water column which drives the pH up. This factor will have a different level of influence which depends on the lighting level, the temperature as well as the amount of plant mass. This will vary on a daily basis. The ph may not stabilize until mid day when it reaches some minimum value and will rise again when the gas shuts off. I use the combination of the dropchecker color, the minimum pH reading and more importantly the plant's response and growth performance to determine whether CO2 is adequate. BPM and ph stability don't really tell you enough to judge much. On large highly lit tanks BPM can't even be counted actually. I listen to the sound of the bubbles because that tells me more.


    Yes the flow will help but "ideally" the target pH should happen within an hour. This is not really practical with conventional diffuser technology but 4 hours may indicate too low a bubble rate. That's why we need to play with the bubble rate to determine and to understand the characteristics and response of each tank. This experimentation is another reason I discourage adding fauna so early in a tank setup because one has to be so careful not to gas the fish. It's a real handicap to CO2 optimization.

    Yes i prefer the inline external reactor much more than internal diffusers, no question. One problem with CO2 splitters is that of uneven flow between the two split paths.

    Cheers,
     
  14. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    ok, thanks! :0)

    so the often quoted 1ph drop is also one of those things that cant be trusted as exact?
    but just another "rough" guide?
     
  15. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yep, as a rule of thumb that works pretty well actually, but one has to fine tune each tank based on flow rates & patterns, lighting, fish response and so forth. Some people supplement with Excel for example so that number would go out the window depending on how much of it is used.

    Cheers,
     
  16. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    what is the plant in yer pics dude?

    Ah, another quick question, i've used a 500g disposable bottle of co2 in just over 2 weeks! Does this sound right? Think another regulator and a FE is a must buy! :-/

    Algae pretty much gone, thanks to advice an measures taken,
    Cheers guys. :D
     
  17. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Oops, apologies for not mentioning. Further details on the thread Limnophila aromatica - The Rice Paddy Herb

    Well a 1/2 kilo bottle is a puny girlie man bottle in my book, :p especially if you have a large tank and high lighting...

    Another mind unplugged from The Matrix... :D

    Cheers,
     
  18. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    thats what i had that rotted! ordered from ebay, the pic there shoes it as really pink on top?! i have one tiny bit that didnt rot, hopefully i can keep it alive! i'm even more despartate to save it after seeing your piccies! :wideyed:

    this is what it looks like on ebay!
    lim.jpg
    this is what my little bit looks like! :lol:
    01042009430.jpg

    and i see there may be a little hope yet! ;0)

    i'm so gald i didn't take the blue pill!! 8)
     
  19. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    L. aromatica comes in different flavors depending on which part of the world the stems originated from, but it's color and form are also heavily influenced by the level of nutrients/CO2 (as well as the lighting of course). This is one of the things that makes it so fascinating.

    Yep, massive CO2 and nutrients will transform it from ugly duckling to swan.

    Welcome to the Desert.....of The Real.... 8)

    Cheers,
     

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice